NZ players detained over rape allegations

Two New Zealanders are among a group of six rugby players who were held by French police after a young woman alleged she was raped after meeting them in a nightclub, reports say.

The six players are all with France's Grenoble club. French media reports said the New Zealanders were former Sevens and Waikato player Rory Grice and former Marlbrough player Dylan Hayes.

Grenoble newspaper Le Dauphine Libere said it had spoken to Grice's layer, Philip Fitzgerald, who said Grice was "anxious to answer police questions about the case". He reminded the newspaper to remember the presumption of innocence.

Mr Fitzgerald said Grice remained in custody.

Hayes had left the police station, according to this lawyer, the newspaper said.

The women alleged she met the players in Bordeaux following Grenobles' French Top 14 match against Bordeaux-Begles at the weekend.

Grenoble has suspended the players involved in the alleged incident with immediate effect.

"In order to avoid any confusion between the investigation, which concerns individual and private behaviour, and Grenoble Rugby club, we have decided to immediately lay off the players concerned as a precautionary measure," the club said in a statement.

Club president Eric Pilaud Club President Eric Pilaud said there will not be an internal investigation, saying he "respects the presumption of innocence" and "doesn't think the players want to answer our [the club's management] questions."


Photo: Photosport Former NZ Sevens player Rory Grice.